Early in the morning, when the fog is glowing
One of our favorite accommodation locations in the European Alps
is since the 90s, the Mountain Guesthouse Berggasthaus Beverin at 1.884m altitude above the little town Thusis in the
province Grisons. We already knew the former hosts John and Alice and the house got now more than worth successors with Willi and
Sabine. Today we have planned to join both of them for an insider motorbike mountain tour.
Since Sabine has still parked her Kawasaki KLE500 in her
hometown in Upper Franconia and Willi's iron vibrator (see photo at left) is still grounded with a broken engine, both contact the BMW
dealer in Chur, the main capital of the province Grisons to rent two motorbikes. One Suzuki Bandit 1200 - of course for Willi and a
BMW GS650 for Sabine. So, first task for this day was, riding to Chur to pickup the two bikes.
The valley is still filled with fog and we can look over a sea of cotton wool and over there, on the other side, somehow in the background that
must be Davos, whereby the sun forces with its warm rays like a knives its first way through the fog behind the mountains. It is 9:00am early
in the morning and we have had the first cup of coffee "Willi special" that had opened the eyelids in turbo speed. What a clear fresh air on
that day. The Swiss flag is hanging limp on the flagpole, not a breeze stirring and a soothing silence surrounds the whole mountain. Only the
mighty nature awakes slowly. Some lost tones reach our ears, a cowbell, a cry of a bird. The wood of the porch gracefully cracks under our
feet as we share a cup of coffee outside on the bench.
Today we will be on tour. Willi the landlord will be the tour guide for his guests today and show us the hidden secrets of the Rhaetian Alps.
At least, this was his explanation of what we plan to do today. He talked about locations like Saint Antoenien and Partnun, whereby I can
find the first location just as a little gray spot at the end of a street on my 1:200,000 scale map. We will ride up from the village Landquart
towards Davos through a region named Praettigau. Today will be the day to dive into the backyards of the region – only known by insiders.
We will ride far away from the other standard routes, and plan to do Insider Touring. Or do you know where to find the Grotta of Ghiggi
(pronounced Dschidschi)? It is located in the region of Bregaglia south of the Rhaetian Alps, just below the famous Maloja Pass, where you
can find the world best air-dried salami south of the Alps that has ever been forced into its skin. Big words expressed from Willi, but we’ll see.
We mount our bikes and take off. Down into the valley to Thusis we dive into the white
layer of cotton, which is now slowly beginning to lift. Ghostly wisps of cloud are always
cracking up and let the sun beams through which play a fight of light and shadow in order
to cut through that white clouds. Reaching the valley and Thusis, we pass by the local little Swiss gas station and then we take off towards Chur.
Of course, we choose the country road his morning through Bonaduz, Chur and Zizers,
parallel to the highway, where we cruise slip quite comfortable towards Landquart. We
adhere strictly to the speed limits inside villages of 50km/h and outside cities of 80km/h,
since the impression of the landscape is just too beautiful this morning. The area here is called “Buendner Herrschaft” and ranges from Chur down to Bad Ragaz. Then down in
Landquart we leave the roundabout on the road to Klosters and Davos.
At the end of nowhere
For a while we swim with the traffic steadily up the region of Praettigau always following the
river Landquart and then turn immediately left in the middle of the valley and again do a to
right into a small road, barely two cars wide. Street sign – no, nothing. Ascending on the
left side of the valley we escape from the main road in the valley and screw us curve by
curve and bend by bend upward. Little villages like Lunden, Pany, Saint Antoenien, Ruti
and Partnun that we have never heard of, are passed by us. Part of the route runs through
the backyards of farmers and it is fun. Traffic reduced down to zero, Panoramic View, just
incredible (like the two gentlemen in the photograph, although this has been shot at the Beverin).
If you once a day plan to ride that route without Willi, you'll find the entrance into this trip at the village Schiers. Coming up from Landquart
exit the country road 28 near N 46 ° 58 '01' E009 ° 41 '15' and then ride on to Schiers, passing Mittellunden, Buchen in Praettigau, Putz,
Pany, Gadenstaett, Ascharina towards Saint Antoenien and then follow the signs towards Partnunsee and Partnun.